Arrow: Terribly Green, but Also Shirtless

Are two shirtless posts in a row too much? Oh well, no existential angst here.

I started this show a couple of episodes into the season, so I may be missing some of the nuances here, maybe some complex and deeply subtle storytelling but, I really don’t think so.

Arrow is the story of Oliver Queen. Stranded on an island for 5 years after the death of his father (and girlfriend’s sister!) in a yachting accident – of all things – he has returned to the city of his birth to right the wrongs of the world. Following a laundry list of villains left to him by his dear old dad, naturally.

Oh, so much fertile ground for Terrible Television and we haven’t even gotten to the crux of it – his weapon of choice is a BOW AND ARROW! I think I’ll poor me a little cava (like champagne! Only cheaper!) and tune in.

Now at first I thought he was not to be confused with The Green Arrow, despite their common weaponry and strikingly similar green hoodies, because I thought… this story doesn’t seem familiar and, well, I haven’t seen any sign of the Black Canary yet, and she really has the best costume ever. But, as it turns out, it IS based on The Green Arrow. My bad!

Well, we’ll assume you aren’t familiar. Part of my job history includes some heavy time in the comic book industry, so I am well aware of the character. But its been a long time since those nerdy days of yore, and I may have recycled those brain cells already. Enough about me, back to our reluctant hero…

Oliver has returned from the dead to the delight and consternation of his sister (Davie Jones’ daughter!) and mom. But I don’t really care about that. He also kinda has a bodyguard/sidekick, a pissed-off ex-girlfriend (yachting accident+dead sister=mad)  and a ne’er do well billionaire best friend… but what the show really has working for it so far – in these 15 minutes that I have watched it – are his ABS! Good God! I think this show must feature lots of shirtless workout sessions and that might just be enough to keep it afloat.

Now, to damn the show with faint praise:

  • There is some entertaining patter – not West Wing level entertaining, but maybe SciFy network level entertaining.
  • There is your typical Lois & Clark level set dressing and some pretty serious gels on their lighting set ups.
  • He wears some HILARIOUS eye makeup to ‘conceal’ his identity as he runs around in his Arrow hoodie.
  • The cast is uniformly attractive and well-groomed. Except Arrow, who has the perma-five o’clock shadow. Of course, that is an art unto itself.
  • Some hilarious leaps of faith in the investigative technology sector – using a digital security photo, he identifies a high school class ring from the mark it left on a victims face! LOL.
  • There are lots of guns for a show about a guy fighting crime with arrows… and lots of sparks and generic thugs and bad guys to shoot at. With his arrows. Snort.
  • This is the short of show that will probably have a ‘gala’ in every episode. Punctuated by flashback scenes of him playing like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, no volleyball in sight.
  • I predict lots of neatly tied up plotlines on the vigilante side and dangling storylines on the romantic side – seriously WHERE IS BLACK CANARY?

So far, I am missing the Arrow-Car, Arrow-Cave and Arrow-Plane (as well as Black Canary), but hope springs eternal. Also, will we see Superman? Green Lantern? Is this a pre-cursor to a live-action Justice League? (Notice how I am playing all of my nerd cards here.) The show was picked up for a whole season, so they have plenty of time!

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